Becoming a Vegan: Tips to Encourage the First Steps

With veganism on the rise, more and more people want to opt for this healthier, more natural, animal-free lifestyle. But there’s still much doubt around how to adopt veganism and maintain a nutrient-rich diet.

There is no rule to start being vegetarian or vegan, but for those who still don't know how to get started, we share some suggestions to make the transition easier and healthier.

Start by adding, not subtracting.

Instead of starting by cutting things off your diet, adopt a different strategy: start by adding new foods. Being vegan is not just a long list of foods you can't eat, and you might be surprised to find out how many things you CAN eat. Explore this new world and discover new flavors. When your diet is varied - rich in vegetables, fruits, and grains - then consider cutting meat and dairies, with the certainty that you are getting plenty of nutrients from plant-based sources.

If you're having trouble cutting meat off the menu, start slowly.

A lot of vegetarians and vegans started their new diet by joining the Meatless Monday movement. You can do the same, choosing one day per week to follow a vegetarian diet, and slowly increasing the number of meatless days. Some people prefer to start by taking out red meat, then chicken and last fish and seafood. Everyone has his own time; the most important thing is to have a rich and varied diet and accompaniment to adjust the nutritional needs. 

Eat food.

Being vegan does not mean your diet will automatically be healthy.  Super processed foods, chips, soda should not replace your meals, no matter if they are vegan or not. The vegan diet can be extremely healthy, but it will depend on what you choose to put on the plate. Always opt to eat real food.

Be creative and open.

Discover new ways of preparing and presenting common foods, such as legume burgers, pasta vegetable sauces, and more. Thus, the diet is not monotonous and tiring, and you will have the chance to open up for a whole new world of delicious foods.

Include dried fruits and oilseeds in your daily routine. Cashews, walnuts, marula nuts, flaxseeds, almonds, chia and sunflower seeds are rich in minerals, vitamins, proteins, and antioxidants.

Veganism is more than a diet, so be sure to make positive changes in other areas of your life. Each step towards a more ethical, green, and healthy diet makes a big difference in the world.